Curriculum

The Graphic Design curriculum gets you thinking from the micro to the macro levels, about craft and concept, and combines physical making with digital skills to help you grow your unique voice as a designer. You'll find you have plenty of options to tailor your experience.

  • Freshman
  • Sophomore
  • Junior
  • Senior
ID Course Title Credit Req
Liberal Arts (6 cr. required)
LA122  Writing in Context 3
LA225  Perspectives on Society & Culture 3
Art History (6 cr. required)
AH125  Exploring Visual Culture 3
AH210  Intro to World Art History 3
Studio Courses (3 cr. required)
Studio Elective 3
Seminar (1 cr. required)
FD100  First Year Seminar* 1
Foundation Studio (15 cr. required)
FD101  Visual Elements: 2D 3
FD102  Visual Elements: Digital Tools 3
FD105  Drawing 1 3
FD111  3D Design 3
FD112  Time Arts 3
TOTAL 31
At the completion of First Year: 30 cr. earned to date 31

*FD100 First Year Seminar is required of all freshman with fewer than 30 transfer credits.

ID Course Title Credit Req
Art History (3 cr. required)
AH213  History of Design Arts 3
Liberal Arts (9 cr. required)
LA225  Perspectives on Society & Culture 3
MTH101 Math or SCI223 Science 3
MTH101 Math or SCI223 Science 3
Studio Courses (18 cr. required)
GD241  Design Studio I: Signs 3
GD242  Design Studio I: Psychology of Seeing 3
GD245  Typography I 3
GD246  Typography II 3
GD247  Production 3
GD251  Fundamentals of Interactive Media 3
TOTAL 30
At the completion of Second Year: 60 cr. earned to date 61

ID Course Title Credit Req
Art History (3 cr. required)
Art History 200/300-level 3
Liberal Arts (9 cr. required)
LA321  Social Science Seminar 3
LA325  Literature Seminar 3
Liberal Arts 300/400-level elective 3
Studio Courses (18 required cr.)
GD341  Design Studio II: Audience and Culture 3
GD342  Design Studio II: Rhetoric and Persuasion 3
GD351  Motion Graphics 3
GD344  Marketing & Branding 3
Studio Elective from suggested menu of courses below* 3
Studio Elective 3
TOTAL 30
At the completion of Third Year: 90 cr. earned to date 91

*Suggested menu of courses:

GD350 Interface & Structure; PH272 Concept / Capture / Print I; AA231 Begin Animated Arts; VID211 Begin Video; VID212 Begin Sound; Printmaking: Screen/Relief, Letterpress/Book Arts, Intaglio/Litho; IL354 Design & Image, IL252 Visual Techniques, IL254 or IL256 Digital Media Strategies, IL257 Children’s Book Illustration, IL351 Visual Vocabulary; additional GD441 GD Internship.

ID Course Title Credit Req
Art History (3 cr. required)
Art History 300/400-level 3
Liberal Arts (6 cr. required)
Liberal Arts 300/400-level elective 3
LA421  Research for Creative Practice 3
Studio Courses (12 required cr.)
GD443  Graphic Design Advanced Studio I 3
GD444  Graphic Design Advanced Studio II 3
Studio Elective 3
Studio Elective 3
Thesis (9 cr. required)
TH453  Thesis Development (Semester 1) 3
GD 445 Center for Design or ND 301 Internship 3
TH499  Thesis (Semester 2) 3
TOTAL 30
At the completion of Fourth Year: 120 cr. earned to date 121

LEARN MORE

Foundation Year

A time to explore

In your Foundation Year, you’ll be immersed from day one in media and making of all kinds from drawing, design, and sculpture, to digital tools, motion, and performance. It’s a year of discovery: a time to explore new ways of thinking and making, meet new friends, and get to know your new community.

Learn More

Thesis

Preparing for graduation

Your senior year is an exciting time of transition from student to working artist and designer. The focus of your senior year is conceiving a thesis project of your own design and producing it with the support of faculty, your peers, and a mentor who works with you one-on-one.

Learn More

Areas of Study

Freedom to focus

PNCA offers ten undergraduate majors, all of which offer you choices in your electives and liberal arts courses. This means that whatever your major, you have the freedom to focus many of your course choices around your particular area of interest. We've outlined the following Areas of Study to give you a sense of the scope of courses available at PNCA.

Learn More

Liberal Arts

Fortify your intellectual foundation

Liberal Arts courses round out your education, helping you become a more thoughtful, well-rounded artist and designer. Explore widely or select your courses to focus on one of what we call Areas of Study.

Learn More

Come tour PNCA today!

Come explore and experience how PNCA is dedicated to empowering students to reimagine what art and design can do in the world.

Visit